COD adviser transfer done to save program
A student alleged in a letter to the Daily Herald this week that College of DuPage removed its student newspaper's faculty advisor out of retaliation or a desire to control student articles. Our Office of Student Affairs has removed journalism instructor Cathy Stablein from her assignment as advisor to the Courier student newspaper. However, this was to ensure she devotes all of her time to breathing life back into an academic program that has been placed on Critical Program Review.
Put simply, Ms. Stablein's program could go away entirely if more students do not participate, and that is where she must now focus. The journalism program is under CPR due to exceptionally low enrollments of seven or eight students -- and sometimes lower-per section. Even our limited-enrollment health programs, for which we often charge double tuition, would be unsustainable at these levels.
We must ensure our programs serve the taxpayers in large enough numbers to justify the expense. Currently, three programs -- journalism, graphic arts and real estate - are undergoing a CPR evaluation. If Ms. Stablein's program is ultimately not found to be viable, her own employment at the college will be jeopardized. The college is attempting to avoid this by giving her and her fellow journalism professor every opportunity to strengthen the program. The student claimed the college is using a "legal smokescreen" to censor the student paper. But it is of course the students who decide editorial content, not the advisor.
Student newspapers will always be critical of their institution. That is how students learn. This will not change with advisors. The only change we hope to effect is to make an ailing program healthy again.
Associate vice president, marketing and external relations
College of DuPage